Republicans file CRA resolutions to disapprove BLM Planning 2.0 rule

US Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alas.) and Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) introduced disapproval resolutions in their respective chambers on Jan. 30 to overturn the US Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) new Resource Management Planning rule under the Congressional Review Act (CRA).

US Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alas.) and Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) introduced disapproval resolutions in their respective chambers on Jan. 30 to overturn the US Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) new Resource Management Planning rule under the Congressional Review Act (CRA).

BLM said that the rule was aimed at improving its resource management when the agency proposed it early last year as part of its Planning 2.0 initiative which was launched in May 2014 (OGJ Online, Feb. 15, 2016). It became final on Dec. 1.

Murkowski said that the rule makes sweeping changes to how BLM develops Resource Management Plans, moves decision-making authority to Washington DC from affected states, and disregards the US Department of the Interior agency’s multiple use mission.

“If left intact, it will harm grazing, timber, energy, and mineral development, and recreation on our public lands,” Murkowski said. “Effective multiple-use management requires local, site-specific considerations, not landscape-level analyses.”

Cheney called it “a federal power grab that ignores expert knowledge and undermines the ability of state and local governments to effectively manage resources and land use inside their own districts. Planning 2.0 dilutes the authority of governors, state regulators, local governments, and the public to engage in collaborative land use management planning across huge swaths of the American West.”

The rule undermines local land management, dilutes the authority of county commissioners, and opens up the possibility that foreign nongovernmental organizations would have input in states’ land use management planning, she declared.

Roughly 99% of BLM’s lands are in 12 western states – Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming—all of which stand to lose if the Planning 2.0 rule remains in its current form, the two federal lawmakers said. They added that they received letters supporting its nullification from a wide range of groups in all 12 states.

Murkowski’s resolution was cosponsored by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) and all Senate Republicans representing western and nearby states including John A. Barrasso (Wyo.), James E. Risch (Ida.), Mike Lee (Utah), Jeff Flake (Ariz.), Steve Daines (Mont.), Cory Gardner (Colo.), Mike Crapo (Ida.), Mike Enzi (Wyo.), Deb Fischer (Neb.), Orrin Hatch (Utah), Dean Heller (Nev.), James M. Inhofe (Okla.), John McCain (Ariz.), and Dan Sullivan (Alas.).

Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com.

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